Roundup: Italy’s fashion companies building on “Made in Italy” brand in China

ROME, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) — Italy’s fashion industry is working hard to ensure it remains in fashion in China, the world’s fastest-growing major market for high-end clothing and accessories.

Key players in the sector have told Xinhua that China is an increasingly important market for Italian fashion houses.

The market in China “is one of the few areas where we can say things are actually going pretty well for fashion companies,” Mario Boselli, president of the Italy-China Foundation, said in an interview. “Italian companies are among the major players in the market, and they are taking the steps necessary to keep things that way.”

According to Nicola Guerini, director-general of the Milan Fashion Institute, the success of Italian fashion products and other Italian non-fashion brands in China gives companies a strong base to build on.

“The ‘Made in Italy’ brand has value in China,” Guerini told Xinhua. “Chinese consumers are increasingly interested in high-end products and the ‘Made in Italy’ tag on a product is a signal that something is of a certain level.”

Boselli agreed: “The two main keys for success not only in China but in most markets are that a product should have a beautiful design and that it should be well made,” he said. “That is what ‘Made in Italy’ represents.”

The importance of China’s market is amplified by the fact that the Chinese economy is one of very few in the world to have survived the coronavirus pandemic relatively unscathed.

According to a study released this summer from GlobalData, China is set to emerge from the pandemic as the world’s largest market for high-end fashion. Last year, before the start of the pandemic, GlobalData’s report showed China was second to the United States.

But while the overall global apparel market and that in the United States are both expected to contract dramatically, China’s market is far less impacted. A GlobalData official confirmed to Xinhua the trends in the report were still relevant.

“Clothing sales will take a while to recover, due to the drop in consumer confidence, the tourism crisis, and the threat of an imminent global recession and high unemployment levels,” GlobalData retail analyst Vijay Bhupathiraju said in a statement. “But some markets in China are already seeing a return in stores of 80 to 100 percent pre-COVID levels.”

Guerini said the changes to the global fashion market could end up working to the advantage of some fashion houses.

“Before the pandemic, a Chinese consumer might buy a product while traveling in Milan or Rome or Paris, and that would be the end of the transaction,” Guerini said. “Now, they know the brands and they buy them from a local store in their home city. That can create a relationship because the store can tell them when new products are available, or when there are sales or special events.”

Boselli said that Italian companies will do well as long as demand from Chinese customers remains high. But he said that growing demands reveal other

Read more

Supermarket in China apologizes for chart that labels women who wear larger sizes ‘rotten’ and ‘terrible’

A supermarket chain in China has apologized for apparently featuring a chart in one of its stores that used disparaging language to refer to women who wear larger-sized clothes as “rotten” and “terrible.”



a person standing in front of a building: People ride on an escalator at an RT-Mart hypermarket in October 2020.


© Bloomberg/Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images
People ride on an escalator at an RT-Mart hypermarket in October 2020.

A photo of the sign, which appeared in an RT-Mart store, went viral this week on Chinese social media, where posts about it on the Twitter-like platform Weibo racked up more than four million views.

The sign was labeled as a “suggested women’s sizing chart,” and laid out the different heights and weights associated with clothing sizes. Each size also included an adjective used to describe it: Small sizes were “skinny” and medium sizes were “beautiful,” while large sizes were “rotten” or “terrible” and XXL sizes were “extremely terrible.”

The sizing guide was intended for women between ages 18 and 35, according to the sign.

CNN Business has not independently verified the photo and it isn’t clear which store featured the controversial sizing chart. However, RT-Mart on Thursday “deeply” apologized for the incident in a statement posted to its Weibo account.

“After the incident, RT-Mart thoroughly inspected all RT-Mart stores immediately,” the company said. “After investigation, it was confirmed that such an incident occurred in one store, and the headquarters has quickly requested the store to remove all signs.”

The controversy has reignited criticisms of widespread sexism in Chinese society, particularly around the pressure exerted on women to look a certain way.

Chinese President Xi Jinping last month called for greater gender equality in a speech to the United Nations and a government spokesman quoted an oft-repeated saying “women hold up half the sky” to highlight China’s commitment to the cause when asked about this issue early this week. (if you see the need to add this line)

The incident also comes as the Chinese government is pushing an anti-food waste campaign countrywide in an attempt to ensure food security for the nation’s almost 1.4 billion people. To encourage people to eat less, restaurants have been accused of fat-shaming behaviors, including weighing customers before they eat and then recommending meals based on their results.

One Weibo user said that the existence of the sign was an indictment of a broader culture of discrimination towards women inside the company.

“As long as there was one staff member questioning this, it would have been impossible to put it out,” the commenter said. Another said that whoever had written that larger women were “rotten” had a “rotten mind.”

China Women’s News, which is operated by the Communist Party-affiliated All China Women’s Federation, said on its official Weibo that the chart was “detestable.”

“Don’t lose respect to grab attention. Advertising and marketing should reflect the corporate values and cultural image. A responsible company should not conduct marketing this way. Learn the lesson!” the group said.

RT-Mart is headquartered in Taiwan but has 416 supermarkets in mainland China. It said that it would strengthen

Read more

Shopping Mall Remains Quiet on 11.11 in Beijing, China

Very few Chinese shop at a normally bustling International shopping mall, especially on 11.11, in Beijing on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. China’s Singles Day, 11.11, is considered the world’s biggest sales event with retailers making more that the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals combined. Due to the Covid-19 outbreak in China, many Chinese have chosen to shop online rather that visit shopping centers. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI

Source Article

Read more

Crazy sale! China’s Singles’ Day bags record shopping revenues | China News

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said orders made during its Singles’ Day mega-shopping festival had exceeded $56bn by Wednesday morning, as consumers sought to cash in on a deluge of discounts.

This year’s shopping extravaganza comes a week after Alibaba lost almost $76bn of its market value following China’s suspension of the $37bn listing of Ant Group, the financial technology firm which Alibaba owns a third of.

It also takes place as China experiences an economic rebound after getting the spread of the novel coronavirus under control within its borders, following the virus’ emergence in the central city of Wuhan late last year.

Alibaba launched the annual online blitz early this year, with two primary discount periods taking place from November 1 through November 3 and again on November 11.

The company will calculate gross merchandise volume (GMV) over the full 11-day period, as opposed to the usual 24 hours.

Records tumble

As of 12:30am local time (16:30 GMT) on November 11, the campaign’s GMV had surpassed 372.3 billion Chinese yuan ($56.3bn) with the order rate hitting a record peak of 583,000 per second, Alibaba said.

Alibaba, Asia’s largest company, blew past last year’s record $38bn at the beginning of Singles’ Day.

[Bloomberg]

Pop star Katy Perry, who has performed at the event before, made an appearance at the company’s gala late on Tuesday, albeit via a livestream, as travel restrictions on outside visitors remain in place in China.

Katy Perry made an online appearance at Singles’ Day to help keep shoppers clicking [File: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images via Bloomberg]

Chinese consumers – who already buy about 30 percent of the nation’s retail purchases online – have become more reliant on e-commerce.

Homebound consumers turned grocery delivery into the industry’s hottest arena, anchoring an unprecedented surge in online activity during the nationwide lockdown. Domestic travel is accelerating, propping up Alibaba businesses such as Fliggy, while a raft of new smartphones launched during the quarter is expected to tap pent-up demand for electronics.

Alibaba has said it is introducing more than two million new products, double last year’s amount. Other companies such as Douyin – the Chinese version of Beijing ByteDance Technology Co Ltd’s TikTok – JD.com Inc and Pinduoduo Inc are also holding their own Singles’ Day shopping events.

JD.com, which started its shopping promotions on November 1, said it recorded 200 billion yuan ($30.3bn) worth of sales by nine minutes after midnight on Wednesday, while electronics retailer Suning.com Co Ltd – part-owned by Alibaba – said it made five billion yuan ($758m) in sales in the first 19 minutes of the day.

Only the best

Analysts expect this year to be a boon for luxury brands, as Chinese consumers accustomed to going overseas to buy high-end goods are now stuck at home due to coronavirus border closures.

Andy Halliwell, retail analyst at digital consultancy Publicis Sapient, in a client note said: “The lack of consumer tourism which has hit European and US stalwarts like Harrods, Galeries Lafayette and

Read more

All set in China for world’s biggest shopping frenzy

The world’s largest online shopping bonanza began in China Wednesday with an army of workers and robots primed to sort packages, and international superstars hired to drive sales, on “Singles’ Day”.

Conceived as an antidote to Valentine’s Day, the event falls on the eleventh of the eleventh — with all its ones — and was meant to be an occasion for individuals to treat themselves to something new.

It has morphed into something else, however, and November 11 is expected to generate sales far outstripping the pre-Christmas “Black Friday” in the United States.

It will also be closely watched in China for signs of consumer sentiment during the coronavirus pandemic.  

The event started in 2009 with apparel sales on e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Tmall platform.

But in a nation of online shoppers, it now rakes in double what US retail giant Amazon does in a month, according to a recent report by consultants Bain & Co.

“Over the past five years, the ‘Double 11’ sales event has grown by an annual 35 percent, generating 410 billion yuan (approximately $60.4 billion) in gross merchandise value for retailers and brands,” the report said.

– Reignite domestic demand –

At Alibaba’s logistics hub, some 1,000 robots hummed in readiness Tuesday, with an anticipated flood of orders.

In China, where the coronavirus first surfaced, the recovery in retail sales has lagged behind that of industrial sectors, with authorities and retailers trying to reignite domestic demand.

Alibaba — quite literally playing on the numbers — has this year extended “Singles’ Day” from 24 hours to an 11-day shopping campaign.

And in a continued riff to hype the event, superstars such as Katy Perry have been hired to appear at an 11.11 Gala in Shanghai — to be broadcast online.

Singer Taylor Swift and supermodel Miranda Kerr are also expected to take part in interactive live broadcasts with Chinese consumers.

“Singles’ Day sales stats could be a useful anecdote of rebounding consumption,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi, in a report this week.

The Economist Intelligence Unit said it expects China’s retail sales recovery to firm in the last three months of the year — well supported by this shopping festival.

“China’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic before other major economies will also support consumer confidence,” it said.

bys/apj/fox/qan

Source Article

Read more

China gears up for world’s largest online shopping festival

A delivery man passes by an ad for the Nov. 11 Sales Day in Beijing, China on Oct. 28, 2020. Chinese consumers are expected to spend tens of billions on everything from fresh food to luxury goods during this year's Singles' Day online shopping festival, as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

A delivery man passes by an ad for the Nov. 11 Sales Day in Beijing, China on Oct. 28, 2020. Chinese consumers are expected to spend tens of billions on everything from fresh food to luxury goods during this year’s Singles’ Day online shopping festival, as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

AP

Chinese consumers are expected to spend tens of billions on everything from fresh food to luxury goods during this year’s Singles’ Day online shopping festival, as the country recovers from the pandemic.

The shopping festival, which is the world’s largest and falls on Nov. 11 every year, is an annual extravaganza where China’s e-commerce companies, including Alibaba, JD.com and Pinduoduo, offer generous discounts on their platforms. Last year, shoppers spent $38.4 billion on Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms Tmall and Taobao.

This year’s festival will be closely watched as a barometer of consumption in China, which is just beginning to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic after months of lockdown earlier in the year.

Analysts expect Chinese consumers to spend more on imported products and foreign luxury brands, since many Chinese tourists were unable to travel internationally due to the coronavirus pandemic and tightened travel restrictions.

A survey by consulting firm Oliver Wyman found that 86% of Chinese consumers are willing to spend the same as or more than during last year’s Singles’ Day festival.

“In the last six months or so, wealthy households have actually spent more money,” said Sean Shen, customer and strategy competence leader for EY in Greater China. “We also see that purchases of luxury segment products are increasing because of the international travel restrictions.”

Sales of electronic goods and health and wellness products are also expected to rise, as more people work from home and pay more attention to their health amid the pandemic, according to a report by consultancy Bain & Company.

To help merchants cope with the impact from the coronavirus, online platforms have extended the shopping festival period this year in hopes of boosting sales.

Both Alibaba and JD.com, the country’s two biggest e-commerce companies, began offering discounts on Oct. 21, three weeks ahead of Nov. 11. Some brands and merchants that slashed their prices booked hundreds of millions of yuan (tens of millions of dollars) in sales just hours into the shopping festival.

Tang Chenghui, an electrical engineer who lives in Beijing sees Singles’ Day as an opportunity to stock up on snacks and imported products such as milk from Australia. Ahead of the festival, Tang pre-ordered 3 boxes of duck eggs, 10 packets of soybean milk powder, two boxes of yogurt, coffee and wine.

“I’m buying more snacks this year because I’ve just moved into a new apartment and have enough storage space to stockpile the snacks I like,” said Tang. “Some of these products are really cheap during the Singles’ Day discounts.”

Unlike Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S., Singles’ Day in China is not just about deep bargains. Alibaba

Read more

China gears up for world’s largest online shopping festival

HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese consumers are expected to spend tens of billions on everything from fresh food to luxury goods during this year’s Singles’ Day online shopping festival, as the country recovers from the pandemic.

The shopping festival, which is the world’s largest and falls on Nov. 11 every year, is an annual extravaganza where China’s e-commerce companies, including Alibaba, JD.com and Pinduoduo, offer generous discounts on their platforms. Last year, shoppers spent $38.4 billion on Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms Tmall and Taobao.

This year’s festival will be closely watched as a barometer of consumption in China, which is just beginning to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic after months of lockdown earlier in the year.

Analysts expect Chinese consumers to spend more on imported products and foreign luxury brands, since many Chinese tourists were unable to travel internationally due to the coronavirus pandemic and tightened travel restrictions.

A survey by consulting firm Oliver Wyman found that 86% of Chinese consumers are willing to spend the same as or more than during last year’s Singles’ Day festival.

“In the last six months or so, wealthy households have actually spent more money,” said Sean Shen, customer and strategy competence leader for EY in Greater China. “We also see that purchases of luxury segment products are increasing because of the international travel restrictions.”

Sales of electronic goods and health and wellness products are also expected to rise, as more people work from home and pay more attention to their health amid the pandemic, according to a report by consultancy Bain & Company.

To help merchants cope with the impact from the coronavirus, online platforms have extended the shopping festival period this year in hopes of boosting sales.

Both Alibaba and JD.com, the country’s two biggest e-commerce companies, began offering discounts on Oct. 21, three weeks ahead of Nov. 11. Some brands and merchants that slashed their prices booked hundreds of millions of yuan (tens of millions of dollars) in sales just hours into the shopping festival.

Tang Chenghui, an electrical engineer who lives in Beijing sees Singles’ Day as an opportunity to stock up on snacks and imported products such as milk from Australia. Ahead of the festival, Tang pre-ordered 3 boxes of duck eggs, 10 packets of soybean milk powder, two boxes of yogurt, coffee and wine.

“I’m buying more snacks this year because I’ve just moved into a new apartment and have enough storage space to stockpile the snacks I like,” said Tang. “Some of these products are really cheap during the Singles’ Day discounts.”

Unlike Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S., Singles’ Day in China is not just about deep bargains. Alibaba pioneered the concept of Singles’ Day and holds an annual gala on Nov. 11 with celebrity performances to entertain shoppers.

E-commerce sales via livestreaming and Alibaba’s annual gala are part of a “shoppertainment” trend which blends shopping with entertainment in order to become more appealing and engaging to shoppers.

Mini games within online

Read more

More than Just Deals: Singles’ Day Is Introducing New Shopping Experiences in China

Exclusive Launches

While deals and savings are still top of mind for consumers when it comes to Singles’ Day, new product launches are also driving many to the shopping event this year, where both Alibaba and JD.com are anticipating a huge influx of product debuts and exclusive collections.

One such example is Taylor Swift’s product launch on Tmall, which will showcase merchandise for the singer’s 2020 album “Folklore,” available only in China for a limited time before hitting the market globally. Additionally, the Jordan Brand is using the event to release its new Air Jordan 6 WMNS “Singles’ Day” sneaker.

A Focus on Payments

Part of this year’s event will put the spotlight on Ant Group’s Alipay. The Alibaba fintech affiliate’s IPO—the world’s largest—was originally slated for early November but has since been suspended. Still, the company is betting big at this year’s Singles’ Day, offering shoppers special promotions and vouchers when they buy from small businesses—most of which suffered huge financial blows due to the pandemic.

Entertainment, but Make It Virtual

In the past, Alibaba invited celebrities, including Nicole Kidman, Mariah Carey, and Pharrell Williams, to make appearances on 11/11. This year, “retailtainment” will remain at the heart of the festivities, with livestreamed fashion shows and pre-event galas. Alibaba, as well as other major players—JD.com, Pinduoduo, and Suning—have secured partnerships for their shows to be broadcasted on TV and streamed online amid continued social distancing measures.

All Eyes on Tech

Singles’ Day is a must-see for tech watchers, as many of China’s digital giants have used past events to highlight retail tech, including virtual reality (VR) shopping, QR code payments, and livestreaming commerce.

A few years ago, Alibaba introduced a Pokémon Go-like game called “Catch the Cat,” which featured a virtual cat who drew shoppers to brick-and-mortar stores where they could earn points. This year, a new version will be introduced with more ways to customize and interact with the cat.

According to AlixPartners data published in October 2020, 96% of adults surveyed planned to participate in 11/11 this year, vs. 92% in 2019.

Source Article

Read more

The Fashion Billionaires Who Got Even Richer in the Year of the Pandemic | BoF Professional, China Decoded

SHANGHAI, China — “I am a stupid person,” Ma Jianrong once told state broadcaster CCTV in typically humble style. “All I do is make cotton thread into clothing [but] I believe that if you do one thing, stick to your main business, and remember your original intention, you will be able to do [that one thing] well.”

It was self-effacing but sage advice from one of China’s old-school fashion billionares. As founder of Shenzhou International Group Holdings, Ma hails from a generation who never expected to get rich quick, but he did eventually become very rich indeed. This year, according to the latest Hurun China Rich List, the self-made man saw his family fortune rise 17 percent, to around $10.3 billion thanks to a life spent wheeling and dealing from the factory floor.

Back in 1978, when Deng Xiaoping was opening up China to the global economy, Ma was just a 13-year-old boy who had just been apprenticed to a local textiles factory where his father worked. A decade or so later, amidst a wave of privatisations across the nation, the father and son duo managed to assume control of a struggling and under-funded state-owned plant. As many of their competitors diversified their operations, the pair decided it would be best to stick with what they knew.

There are many ways to make money in the fashion business.

Though many had their doubts at the time, it was a decision that was to reward Ma handsomely as his firm began compiling an impressive roster of international brand clients including Uniqlo, Nike, Adidas, Puma and others that were just starting to offshore production to China. More recently, as the country became less reliant on being the factory of the world for its economic success, Ma Jianrong invested in the next phase of offshoring — from China to lower cost operations around Southeast Asia.

There are many ways to make money in the fashion business. Some, like Ma, make clothing while others produce the raw materials that are later made into clothing. Then there are those who build fashion brands, and those who own the shopping malls or e-commerce platforms through which those brands pay rent, commission or fees of some kind to sell their wares.

But if you were asked to conjure an image of a modern Chinese billionaire, chances are you would soon bring to mind a titan of the country’s tech scene as charismatic entrepreneurs tend to dominate the headlines—and they too have fashion to thank for part of their fortunes.

Tech Moguls Keep Top Spots

Unsurprisingly, it’s good to be a technology entrepreneur in China in the year of the pandemic and, once again, the two Mr. Mas — Jack Ma of Alibaba and Pony Ma of Tencent — are duking it out for the number one and number two spot of the 2020 edition of the Hurun China Rich List, riding a wave of digital acceleration to a significant boost in their respective wealth.

This year has

Read more

India receives extreme cold weather clothing from America for troops deployed on China border

New Delhi [India], November 3 (ANI): In a major boost to India’s preparedness to take on the Chinese on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Indian Army has received the initial consignment of extreme cold weather clothing from the USA for its troops deployed on the China border.

“An initial lot of extreme cold weather clothing from the American defence forces have been received and are being used by our troops there,” government sources told ANI here.

The sources said that the Indian Army maintains a stock of 60,000 of these extreme cold weather clothing sets for troops deployed in entire Ladakh including both western fronts in Siachen and Eastern Ladakh sector.

This year, there was an additional requirement of around 30,000 of these sets as close to 90,000 troops are deployed in the region in view of the aggression by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) along the LAC.

The emergency acquisition of the extreme cold weather clothing will help the Indian Army troops to get through the harsh winters in the Ladakh sector.

The Indian side has deployed two additional divisions on the LAC that have been brought to the sector from plains and a mountain division which has been training for high-altitude operations for many years now.

India is getting a lot of equipment from America including a number of assault rifles for the special forces as well as the SiGSauer assault rifles for the infantry troops. (ANI)

Source Article

Read more